John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Friday 24th March 1967


On this date, Chris wrote and posted a picture postcard which had
Greetings from
printed beneath a photo of a poodle, and containing a montage of photos round the poodle: Flower Garden, People’s Park; Freeman Street Market; Grimsby Docks; and Parish Church. Chris’s message on the postcard was too long for him to be able to write my address on it, so he mailed it to me in an envelope.

Dear John,
 Just a post-card so
that you can’t call me tight
or having forgotten you. We
had a laugh hitch-hiking over,
me & your best friend (AH-HEM!). We
got here in 10 hours as we got
a lift right from Preston to Sheffield.
 I’m glad I came here for
Easter, because it’ll make
the time pass quicker to when
them from Birmingham go back (No
interest in them coming of course). Just
think—then I’ll be able to get off with
that gorgeous Jacqueline, if she’ll still
go out with me. Hope she will ’cos
I think she’s terrific—WUFF–KA-POW–
 Hope you have some good meetings
over Easter. I would have gone this
morning (Good Friday) but I couldn’t
very well take Flee. Still never mind.
He tried to ring up that girl he knows
over in Hull last night but he couldn’t
get through to her. HA – HA!
See you next week, Chris

Your best friend (a-hem!): I can’t remember why there was animosity between me and “Flee”/“Flea”: Michael Norman Lee, Chris’s school chum, with whom he hitch-hiked to Grimsby. They went on holiday together once to Austria, too. When he wrote to Chris in July 1971, suggesting that they meet up, he suggested that the meeting be “without Cooper”.

I’ll be able to get off with that gorgeous Jacqueline: This is the first recorded mention of her that I have. Jacqueline Thomas came from the north-east. The town of Peterlee springs to mind, but I can’t remember if she came from there, went back there, or both. (Chris’s reference in his letter of Saturday 3rd February 1968 to “Sunderland” as her destination may be an approximation or it may be precise.) At the time under consideration she was living in Fleetwood and going to the Full Gospel Church. And indeed Chris did “get off with” her and was involved with her briefly, before he moved with his parents to Billericay in July 1967. Chris was a notorious flirt—in fact, at this time he was involved with a girl from Birmingham who planned to pay him a visit—but as it turned out, Jacqueline beat him at his own game. She had no difficulty getting herself surrounded by boys, and made full use of that fact. She had long, wavy, light brown hair and her face was sufficiently pleasant though one would not say she was a beauty. She was very slim, so what curves she had were rather scaled down.

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